Get Ready, It's Meg Ryan Fall.
Farewell, Hot Girl Summer.
Today in TikTok trends that delight me: Meg Ryan Fall! As I’ve mentioned ad-nauseam, I get a kick out of the way Gen Z repackages past generations’ most beloved cultural moments into an *aEstHeTic* all its own.
They’re right on this one though. No two romcoms are more evocative of autumn’s romance than “You’ve Got Mail” and "When Harry Met Sally”. There’s definitely a kindred vibe there. To take it one step further and define the genre as its own aesthetic is… well, on-the-nose delightful. By the Millenial yardstick, this is adjacent to re-watching “Hocus Pocus” or “Practical Magic”. ‘Cept we call it “Spooky Season” (which admittedly, is kinda cringe).
In both movies, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s respective wardrobes are especially notable — and TikTok has noticed. In You’ve Got Mail, Kathleen Kelly is pictured draped in swaths of downy cashmere, surrounded by twinkle lights and children’s books. In When Harry Met Sally, Harry Burns rocks the perfect chunky cable knit set against the backdrop of New York’s autumn leaves, while Sally Albright dons a bowler hat that would make Diane Keaton weep.
While TikTok’s having fun recreating these looks in nearly identical fashion, I’m inclined to grow things up a little and make them modern. After all, this isn’t a costume, it’s a vibe.
Kathleen Kelly’s studious tights and oxfords combo is an easy start. Loafers have trotted through nearly every 2021 September issue. A lug sole pair with a 90’s stitch and a sexy-but-sweet swiss dot-printed tight make it feel today. A jumper dress layered over a paper-thin turtleneck makes it charming. A cool tote takes it to bookish — in a good way. Bonus points: bring in a little more fall color with jewelry.
If you want to wade into deeper waters, khaki trousers made their way back into the fashion consciousness this season — with an up-to-date cut, paired with a waist-skimming chunky cardigan. While Kathleen Kelly wears hers with a boyish crewneck tee, in 2021 we’re seeing it with a button or two open to display a matching knit bra. I like the idea of finishing it with cozy shearling-lined sneakers.
Katz’s Deli (most definitely an iconic lunch spot) played backdrop to Sally Albright’s infamous fake orgasm scene, where she donned a cozy charcoal top layer over a white oxford, styled with the collar top-buttoned and a glitzy finish — I think an earring plays better these days than her brooch. But her most memorable looks are anchored by chic checked blazers. I’d riff on this with the same sparkly earring, and one of the season’s many blazer offerings with a power-clashing under layer. Oh, and a hat.
And then there’s Harry Burns, who wore this perfect outfit, which would be right at home on anyone in 2021, regardless of gender: a cream cable knit fisherman’s sweater, light-wash jeans, and a pair of white Air Force 1s. Both Sally Albright and Kathleen Kelly’s signature sweaters have aged perfectly, too — finished with a very 90’s matte lip. Sweaters, indeed! Now it’s fall.
If Kathleen Kelly were sitting in that Starbucks today, waiting patiently with Pride and Prejudice and a red rose… I wonder what brand her turtleneck would be. Don’t you think she’d be an Everlane girl?
I made you a playlist, too: stream now.
(You can find links to everything in this issue, as well as additional suggestions at every price point right here.)
Ah. The first few chords of The Cranberries’ “Dreams“ apparate, and I long for freshly-sharpened number two pencils. The warble of a young Harry Connick Jr. rocks me into a Norah Epron-induced stupor. Suddenly, the urge to concoct a Midnight Margarita. Meanwhile, miles North, a virgin lights a black flame candle. And somewhere in the distance, “Autumn in New York” wafts gently over a turntable.
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